Writing a wedding speech can be a challenge. There is a lot of importance placed upon these speeches and wedding guests’ expectations can be high! No need to worry, you’re in safe hands. We have spoken with grooms, brides, father/mother of the bride and wedding guests to gain as much insight into this key wedding day event.
Start the planning of the wedding speech early
We have all heard the phrase, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ or the one my wife and I refer to as the 6 Ps. Unfortunately I can’t put that on here but if you do decide to book me as your wedding photographer I’ll share it with you.
Nev Chambers Photography, where anything is possible.
As soon as you know that you will need a speech start making notes of fun, crazy or simple wonderful events that you have experienced together. Don’t worry about creating a speech just yet, get the ideas/memories on paper. This ensures that you don’t forget something important which you later regret. Maybe separate the speech into sections and then mind map from there.
E.G. So if the groom wishes to share something lovely about his new wife, then he should describe the feature and then expand on this.
This is when your notes come in handy! You will notice that your wedding photographer carries notes so that your dreams come true.
Introduce Yourself, “Hello, I’m Nev.”
For most of us standing up in front of a room full of people is scary.
When you are already nervous about giving a wedding speech you may forget to introduce yourself. Obviously, if you’re the bride or groom, then no introduction is required. However, if you don’t know every single guest, it’s likely that a some wedding guests will be wondering who you are. Start simply with hello and your name and a short introduction into how you know the bride and groom. This then leads beautifully onto the more amusing and interesting parts of the speech.
Also it gives guests the opportunity to come up to you later on with congratulations on a fabulous speech because you have already made a small connection.
Think about your Audience
Any speech writer will tell you that thinking about your audience is a key consideration when putting together a wedding speech. What is funny between friends may not be so funny to relatives and indeed have guests leaving early (as wedding photographers we have seen this and heard the disgruntled comments!) So our advice is keep it clean and avoid contentious topics like the stag party, politics and religion.
If in doubt, leave it out. But if you can’t do that then share your ideas and speech with someone trustworthy, maybe a sensible family member or long standing friend who won’t want the bride and groom to be embarrassed or for a Great Aunt to be offended.
Try to be Original
As hard as it is, do try to resist searching the Internet for speech ideas which you cut and stick together. The bride and groom are trusting you with this special task so don’t they deserve some time and effort?That’s not to say you can’t read through a few online just beware that your audience will have (likely) heard it all before. Maybe at last month’s wedding breakfast, we will have. Again this is why we strongly recommend planning (we offer a pre wedding photography consultation with every package) and making notes, this way you can ensure that your speech is personal to the couple. Now this is where it gets tricky. Do try to avoid in-jokes as they will leave out many of the wedding guests. If you do NEED to mention one then explain it to the whole room, don’t just leave them looking at the first 2 or 3 tables who are crying with laughter.
Don’t Struggle. Ask for Help in Writing a Wedding Speech
If you are not that confident in your wedding speech writing ability then do ask for help and search ideas. This can be done via the Internet so that you get a sense of style; which ones do you like, why? Have a look on YouTube for advice on how to structure your speech and then watch some wedding speeches being delivered – note the audience’s reactions. This is always interesting and may not be what you expected. Take note!
Don’t Waffle On & On
As a wedding photographer, I was once told that a good speech lasts around 10 minutes and I have to say that given my experiences this is true. There is nothing worse than a speech that keeps on going. You will find that after 10 minutes your audience will have zoned out and possibly begun too ‘quietly’ talk between themselves. If this happens then the speech was pointless as no one will remember a thing. So keep on task and to the point.
We just had to include these sweet wedding guests ‘listening’ to speeches! 🙂
Memorising the Wedding Speech
Confidence and eye contact are so important when delivering any speech. This gives you the chance gauge reactions and often leads to better delivery, especially of jokes. We have found this to be true of wedding photography. If we made no eye contact and just pointed a camera, what would the photos look like?
Connecting with your audience is important and draws them into the web of stories you want to weave. So the ability to recall what you’ve planned is so important. Don’t worry if it isn’t word for word, honestly it doesn’t matter. If in doubt use cue cards for support. Just pop on a few key words under a heading and you will do just fine.
The Perfect Ending
So how to end. This can be difficult so go with the tried and tested. Raise a toast. Also this indicates to the wedding guests that this is the end of your speech and they can wait for the next.
Finally, good luck writing your wedding speech and we look forward to hearing it.